Record Unit 7383, Kenk, Roman, 1898-, Roman Kenk Papers, circa 1921-1987
Roman Kenk (1898-1988) was an invertebrate zoologist and authority on the morphology, ecology, and taxonomy of freshwater flatworms. Born in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, he received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Graz, Austria, in 1921. From 1921 to 1938, Kenk taught zoology at the University of Ljubljana, except for the years 1931-1932 when he was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the University of Virginia. Kenk emigrated to Puerto Rico in 1938, and became a naturalized United States citizen in 1942. He served as Professor of Biology at the University of Puerto Rico from 1938 to 1948, before moving to Washington, D.C., to become a bibliographer at the Library of Congress. After his retirement in 1966, Kenk was appointed Research Associate in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), where he was placed in charge of building the flatworm specimen collection and library. He remained at NMNH until 1987.
Kenk published over forty papers on flatworms. Nine invertebrates were named in his honor, including a family of flatworms called Kenkiidae. He donated his personal collection of flatworms to NMNH.